Mon County goes green Saturday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following the Friday change in the way COVID status for counties is expressed, whichever statistic is better: daily positive tests or percent positive, Mon County entered yellow on the statewide map.

Under the Saturday calculation Mon County is green at 2.8 percent, the map changes to gold at 4 percent, orange at 5 percent and red at 8 percent.

This is a summary of COVID status as of Friday afternoon:

Zero counties are currently Red.

Four counties are currently Orange: Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, and Wayne counties.

Four counties are currently Gold: Logan, Mingo, Summers, and Wyoming counties.

Nine counties are currently Yellow: Barbour, Berkeley, Doddridge, Jackson, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Putnam and Wirt counties.

The remaining 38 counties are currently Green.

More sweeping changes are expected across the state when the Saturday 5 p.m. update is issued.

For schools the news is good, but according to Mon County Schools superintendent Dr. Eddie Campbell it will have a delayed effect. Schools will have a “buffer week” before the blended learning option would begin.

“Everything changes and you can never really understand where these things are coming from,” Dr. Campbell said,”But, just trying to follow what they’re telling us to follow, we should be gold Saturday night.”

In addition to the transition to limited in-person learning the move to gold would allow extracurricular activities to begin. High school within the county could play each other based on the color coded guidelines.

“It’s still really good for us, but I think it’s going to cause some confusion,” Dr. Campbell said,”If you use the original metric we’ve been following with that map our percentage is a little bit higher than that.”

University High School athletic director, Jeff Bailey said the cascading changes have made scheduling a seven-day-per-week, pencil and eraser task.

“The stuff we usually do a year in advance, the joke is,” Bailey said,”We’re not week by week, we’re not day by day, we’re sincerely minute by minute at this time.”

Student-athletes, coaches and parents have calling for a return to competition. The social media group, We Stand Behind Mon County Kids lists more than 1,500 members and staged a protest before the Mountaineer football home opener against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels game September 12.

Bailey says they have plans for both gold and yellow status along with the intention of scheduling as many games, matches or meets for fall sports.

“We do think we have a really good plan B, it will be a lot of repetitive matches, multiple matches with the same team,” Bailey said,”But, if that’s what it takes to get these kids on the athletic field and courts then that’s what it’s going to take.”

Because of the physical nature of football Bailey says they will ease players into competition shape to limit injuries.

“it’s just not a safe environment for football to just get out there and compete immediately,” Bailey said,”It’s going to take a little bit for us to get these young men back into the hitting portion and tackling portion of the game.”